Court Rules: Photos Keep Copyright After Twitter Publication

iMediaEthics publishes international media ethics news stories and investigations into journalism ethics lapses.


Home » Copyrights»

Screenshot detail above is from Twitter's terms of use regarding copyright. (Credit: Twitter)

A United States court ruled that “publishing something on Twitter is not the same as relinquishing ownership,” reported.  The decision allows photographer Daniel Morel to continue his lawsuit against Agence France-Presse for not crediting or paying him for photos he took of “the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake” and posted on Twitter.

According to, Morel’s photos were picked up and republished by “AFP, Newsweek and other news agencies who improperly credited them to Lisandro Suero, a Dominican Republic citizen who had illegally copied the pics before selling them as his own to AFP and other organizations.”  Morel sued the organizations, but AFP stated that republishing was legal because he lost copyright exclusivity by posting the pictures on Twitter.

AFP reportedly posted the photos on “an online photo database called Image Forum, which it uses to market and distribute its photographs,” the judge — William H. Pauley — wrote. The photos were then “transmitted them to Getty, an image licensing company.”


Submit a tip / Report a problem

Photos Don’t Lose Copyright After Being Posted on Twitter

Share this article:

Comments Terms and Conditions

  • We reserve the right to edit/delete comments which harass, libel, use coarse language and profanity.
  • We moderate comments especially when there is conflict or negativity among commenters.
  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.